A safer Church
17 January 2018 IN: Ministers
Ensuring that our churches are a safe place for all is the responsibility of the whole Church. Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, Abbey Clephane-Wilson, outlines the support available to parishes and the progress that has been made in this area.
In the three years since I was appointed we have learnt a lot about the context of abuse (which can happen within families, organisations and communities) and the actions the Church needs to take to promote a safer culture and meet required safeguarding standards.
While it is essential that safeguarding policies and processes are in place to make our churches safe for children and adults who may be at risk, it is also important to remember that support is available. Nobody is alone in dealing with concerns about a child or adult, or ensuring that we are following church policies and guidance.
Meet the safeguarding team
A Diocesan Safeguarding Panel also contributes to the development of positive safeguarding practice. It has an independent panel chair and representatives from a number of external agencies.
In 2017 Manchester Diocese wasindependently audited by Social Care Institute of Excellence, which recognised that good progress has been made in safeguarding over recent years and that there is a good safeguarding culture.
The diocese was found to have good leadership around safeguarding, robust policies and high-quality case recording. The audit also identified areas where we can learn and improve. These have been incorporated into a diocesan safeguarding development plan for the next 12 months.
It was recognised that safeguarding required more resources and we are delighted to have appointed a new Assistant Safeguarding Advisor, Kathryn Ford.
Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a safer Church for all. The progress we have made could not have been achieved without the incredible work of volunteers and church workers who have made significant contributions in this area.